Painted brick is becoming popular. The good part about painting brick is that it doesn't matter what the brick underneath looks like, as long as it has some texture. A lot of brick factories will sell seconds—the brick did not meet the specs, and can't be sold as top quality. That doesn't mean the brick isn't strong enough. Most of the time, it is a color matching issue that relegates the brick to the "seconds" pile. You can buy these bricks for a discounted price—not enough to compensate for the paint, but it does help to offset a bit of the added cost.